Safin had two break points leading 4:1 in the 2nd set. In the record-tying tie-break which he lost 18/20, wasted 6 set points (7:6, 9:8, 13:12, *14:13, 15:14 & 17:16). He saved two match points with the help of the sideline, he should have actually lost the tie-break 9/11 because the TV replay showed he sent forehand wide. The hawk-eye system was introduced the following year. The record tie-break lasted 26 minutes 38 seconds.
“The tie-breaker was very special,” Federer said. “I’ve never played a tie-breaker like it. That was really fun, going back and forth, all big points, match points, set points, and the level of play was high too.”
“I was nervous. I was under pressure. Everybody has these moments,” Safin said. “I was starting to get to his serve. I put too much pressure on myself trying to win that tie-breaker. I made mistakes but at least I was going for it. I was enjoying it because I knew if I won the tie-breaker I had a huge chance to win the third set.”
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